Traditionally, corporate brand identity was considered to be directed and controlled by managers. However, more recent research has begun to recognize the limits of this view, which has led to the emergence of a stakeholder-driven, dynamic perspective, in which multiple stakeholders co-create diverse corporate brand meanings. This perspective argues that while managers have influence over the essence of the corporate brand, other stakeholders imprint and share their own interpretations. To better understand the process of corporate brand identity co-creation, we used a case study method with multiple cases, involving five small and medium sized business-to-business (B2B) corporate brands. We specifically chose B2B corporate brands, because they are often built on long-term and close relationships with diverse stakeholders, serving as a solid ground for illustrating the process of co-creation. To obtain the necessary depth of insight, we conducted 37 semi-structured interviews. Our research shows that corporate brand identity co-creation in B2B contexts is an ongoing dynamic process where multiple internal and external stakeholders engage in four different but interrelated performances: communicating; internalizing; contesting; and elucidating.
Bibliographical notePublished online: September 17, 2019
- Corporate brand identity
- Multiple case study
- Qualitative research
- Stakeholder performances